[Skip to content]



Person Details
09 Nov 1896
Sidney was registered as 'Sidney Self' but the family appears to have later adopted the spelling 'Selfe' (1891 Census) and on the 1901 and 1911 Census his first name is spelt 'Sydney'. Both the RN and CWGC records give his name as 'Sidney Self'. Sidney's birth was registered in the O/N/D quarter of 1896 (Basford) suggesting that the date of birth of 9 March 1896 which appears on his RN record is a clerical error. RN recruits signed on for 12 years on their 18th birthday; 'boy' time did not count toward the 12 years. The RN record shows that Sidney's 12 year engagement began on 9 November 1914, when he was rated Ordinary Seaman, indicating that his date of birth was 9 November 1896. Sidney was the son of George Henry Self (birth registered 1856, J/F/M Shoreditch) and Ann Rowland (b. 1856, Bilsthorpe, birth registered A/M/J Southwell). They were married in Nottingham in 1878 (marriage registered J/F/M Basford). When Sidney's widowed mother completed the 1911 Census she did not give any information about the number of years she had been married nor the number of children she had had and the number still living. Nine children were named on the census between 1881 and 1911 but census details have discrepancies in names and ages when compared with information on other records. See below; the children are listed by the date of the first census on which their names have so far been traced: 1881 Census: John Henry b. 1878, Hucknall Torkard, Nottingham; birth registered O/N/D Basford 1891 Census: Martha b. Bilsthorpe. Probably Martha A. b. abt 1885, death registered 1914, A/M/J Basford, aged 29. (Also Martha Self b. abt 1882, death registered 1883 J/F/M Basford) 1891 Census: Caroline b. Bilsthorpe 1901 Census: Caroline Mary b. 1884, Bilsthorpe, Notts; birth registered O/N/D Southwell 1901 Census: Mercy b. 23 February 1889, Wilford, Nottingham; birth registered 1889 J/F/M Basford 1901 Census: Arthur [Arthur Edward] b. 3 November 1893, Nottingham; birth registered O/N/D Basford 1901 Census: Sidney b. 1896, Nottingham; birth registered O/N/D Basford 1901 Census: Annie E [Elizabeth] b. 1898 Nottingham, birth registered O/N/D Basford 1911 Census: Florence b. Nottingham. Probably Florence, birth registered 1892, J/F/M Basford (alternative, Florence birth registered 1894 J/F/M Basford) Note: dates of birth have been taken from registrations of death The ages of Caroline (unidentified) who first appears on the 1891 Census aged 2 years and Mercy (b. 1889) who first appears on the 1901 Census aged 12 years, suggest that they may be one and the same child. In 1881 George Self (25), a coal miner, and Ann (25) were living on Hankin Street, Hucknall Torkard, Nottingham, with their son John (2) and Ann's 11 year-old sister, Emma Rowland. By 1891 George and Ann had moved to 24 Ford Street, Basford. George was still working as a coal miner while Ann was now working as a dressmaker, probably from home. Three children were in the household, John (12), an osier peeler for a basket maker, Martha (6) and Caroline (2). The oldest child, John, married Jennie Hickson (b. Hucknall Torkard) in 1899 (marriage registered A/M/J Basford) and in 1901 they were living at 55 Cheltenham Street, Basford. At the time of the same census his parents were living at 4 Academy Place, Basford, with five of their children, Caroline M (16) a perambulator hood maker, Mercy (12), Arthur (9), Sidney (4) and Annie (2). By 1911 John (32), a coal miner hewer, and Jennie (30) were living at 32 Francis Street, Mansfield with their two sons, Edward (9, b. Basford) and Ronald (1, b. Mansfield). However, at the time of Sidney's death in 1916 the family was living at 105 Arnold Road, Old Basford. Caroline Mary had married Hercules John Deacon (b. Northampton) in 1906 (marriage registered A/M/J Nottingham) and in 1911 they were living at 21 Holden Street, Radford. Hercules (26) was a coachman at a livery stables. They had one child, Annie May (3) but were to have at least two more children, Lily E. (birth registered 1912 J/F/M Nottingham) and Arthur B. (birth registered 1915 J/F/M Nottingham). Mercy had moved to Shepton Mallet, Somerset, where in 1911 she was a boarder at 57 Garston Street in the household of George and Sarah Goverd. Mercy (22) was a carriage straightener and the Govards had another boarder, Emma Cartledge (21, b. Hucknall Torkard), who was also a carriage straightener. The children's father, George Henry, died in January 1911 (buried 24 January) age 55, shortly before the census when his widow Ann was recorded living at 43 Egypt Road, New Basford, with four of her children; Florence (19) a carriage straightener (lace machine), Arthur (17) a fitter apprentice (machine building), Sidney (14) a van boy, and Annie (12). Ann died later that same year (death registered O/N/D Nottingham) aged 55 and the siblings probably dispersed soon after, Sidney joining the Royal Navy in September 1912. Mercy married Hubert Joseph Charles Weston (occupation clerk) in the parish church of Shepton Mallet, Somerset, on 2 August 1913; both gave their address as Garston Street, Shepton Mallet. Mercy Weston died in 1979 (death registered December, Mendip Somerset) age 90. Martha Self probably died in 1914 (death registered A/M/J Basford) at the age of 29. Florence married Joseph H Bailey in 1914 (marriage registered A/M/J Basford) and in 1915 they had a son, Denis. Arthur married Eliza Harrison in 1914 (marriage registered O/N/D Nottingham). He probably died in 1975 (death registered September, Thurock Essex) aged 81. Annie Elizabeth married Harry Barnes in 1922 (marriage registered A/M/J Shepton Mallet, Somerset). John Henry died on 7 June 1946, he lived at The Bungalow, Main Road, Fishpool, Nottinghamshire. Probate was awarded to his widow, Jennie. Caroline Mary Deacon died on 31 March 1969 (death registered March Nottingham) at the age of 84.
In 1911 he was a van boy for a tea salesman but when he joined the Royal Navy in 1912 he gave his occupation as needlemaker.
31 May 1916
20
3038383 - CWGC Website
J/20088
Able Seaman
HMS Queen Mary Royal Navy
Sidney joined the Royal Navy on 3 September 1912 when he was 15 years old and on 9 November 1914 entered on a 12 year engagement. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: HMS Ganges, 3 September 1912-25 March 1913 (Boy 2nd Class, Boy 1st Class 25 March 1913); HMS Edgar, 26 March 1913-4 August 1913; Victory I (5 August 1913-15 September 1913; HMS Queen Mary, 16 September 1914-31 May 1916 (Ordinary Seaman 9 November 1914, Able Seaman 4 March 1915). Documents annotated, ‘NP 3925/1916. DD 31st May 1916, Killed in Action’. His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial Panel Reference: 13. HMS Queen Mary was the last battle cruiser built by the Royal Navy before World War I. She participated in the Battle of Heligoland Bight in 1914. As part of the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron, she attempted to intercept a German force that bombarded the North Sea coast of England in December 1914, but was unsuccessful. She was refitting in early 1915 and missed the Battle of Dogger Bank in January. At Jutland on May 31st 1916 she was hit twice by the German battle cruiser Derfflinger during the early part of the battle. Her magazines exploded shortly afterwards, sinking the ship. 1,266 crewmen were lost with eighteen survivors picked up by the destroyers HMS Laurel, HMS Petard, and HMS Tipperary, and two by the Germans. (Wikipedia)
Both of Sidney's parents had died in 1911 and his next of kin was then his eldest brother, John, of 105 Arnold Road, Old Basford, Nottingham, who was notified of his brother's death.
Remembered on